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Extinction Rebellion protests continue in London despite ban

An Extinction Rebellion protester on the Department for Transport

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Extinction Rebellion is calling on the government to explain its plan to meet a net-zero emissions target

Extinction Rebellion activists are continuing protests despite a London-wide ban by police.

The group says it has taken initial steps towards a judicial review of the ban. Lawyers and politicians have also criticised the move.

Meanwhile climate change protesters targeted the Department for Transport and MI5 on Tuesday morning.

A government spokeswoman said protests “should not disrupt people’s day-to-day lives”.

Extinction Rebellion’s co-founder, Gail Bradbrook, was arrested after climbing on to the entrance of the Department for Transport on Tuesday morning. Police also cleared further protesters from outside the building.

Activists have also been arrested on Millbank outside MI5’s headquarters, where a small group had gathered. Two men briefly sat in the middle of the road before being moved by officers.

The Metropolitan Police began clearing protesters from Trafalgar Square on Monday evening following the announcement of new restrictions under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, which required activists to stop their protests in central London by 21:00 BST or risk arrest.

The force said it decided to impose the rules after “continued breaches” of conditions which limited the demonstrations to Trafalgar Square.

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Protesters who camped out in Trafalgar Square have now been moved on

Extinction Rebellion said it had taken the “first steps” towards a judicial review of the Met’s “disproportionate and unprecedented attempt to curtail peaceful protest”.

“Our lawyers have delivered a ‘Letter before Action’ to the Met and asked for an immediate response,” a statement read.

Tobias Garnett, a human rights lawyer working for the movement, said the letter warned police to withdraw the order, giving them a deadline of 1430 BST to respond, or else the group would file a claim in the High Court.

“We will be looking for an expedited hearing either today or tomorrow morning,” he added.

The Met confirmed it had received “pre-action judicial review correspondence” alleging Human Rights Act breaches.

“The letter will be reviewed by the Met’s Directorate of Legal Services, and we will respond to the claimant in due course,” a statement read, adding it would be “inappropriate” to comment further.

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There was a large police presence at the Department for Transport

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he is “seeking further information” about the decision to impose the ban and why it was necessary.

“I believe the right to peaceful and lawful protest must always be upheld,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the government said the UK was “already taking world-leading action to combat climate change”.

The statement added: “While we share people’s concerns about global warming, and respect the right to peaceful protest, it should not disrupt people’s day-to-day lives.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted that “supporting our [police] is vital” and accused the Labour Party of supporting “law breakers”.

‘Overreach of powers’

Meanwhile, lawyers have also questioned whether the ban by police is legal.

Anti-Brexit barrister Jo Maugham QC said the move was “a huge overreach” of police powers, while human rights lawyer Adam Wagner described it as “draconian and extremely heavy-handed”.

Mr Wagner added in a tweet: “We have a right to free speech under article 10 and to free assembly under article 11 of the (annex to the) Human Rights Act. These can only be interfered with if the interference is lawful and proportionate. I think the police may have gone too far here.”

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott tweeted: “This ban is completely contrary to Britain’s long-held traditions of policing by consent, freedom of speech, and the right to protest.”

Allan Hogarth, of Amnesty International, issued a statement saying the ban was “an unlawful restriction on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly”.

A number of demonstrations have been staged across the capital by Extinction Rebellion, which is calling on the government to do more to tackle climate change.

The protests were due to last two weeks and have led to more than 1,400 arrests.

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Police remove an Extinction Rebellion protester from Trafalgar Square in central London

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Protesters gathered their belongings as police removed the last of the Extinction Rebellion demonstration

The Met said there had been 1,457 arrests by 08:45 BST on Tuesday, in connection with the nine days of Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

Last week, the Home Office confirmed to BBC News that it was reviewing police powers around protests in response to recent demonstrations.

What are the rules around protests?

Police have the powers to ban a protest under the Public Order Act 1986, if a senior officer has reasonable belief that it may cause “serious disruption to the life of the community”.

Police are also under a duty to balance the task of keeping the streets open with the right freedom of assembly under the Article 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and freedom of expression, under Article 10. These rights are not absolute – the state can curtail them.

However, the BBC’s home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani said: “The test, if and when it gets to a human rights court battle, is whether police action was proportionate to the threat and only what was strictly necessary.”

By law, the organiser of a public march must tell the police certain information in writing six days in advance.

Police have the power to limit or change the route of the march or set other conditions.

A Section 14 notice issued under the Public Order Act allows police to impose conditions on a static protest and individuals who fail to comply with these can be arrested.



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Ravi Katharkamar death: Alex Gunn guilty of murder

Ravi Katharkamar

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Ravi Katharkamar was stabbed in his heart and died at the scene

A shopkeeper was murdered at his newsagents in north-west London by a “one-man crimewave”.

Alex Gunn, 31, stabbed 54-year-old Ravi Katharkamar to death inside his shop in Pinner at 06:00 GMT on 24 March.

The Old Bailey heard after Gunn attacked the father-of-two, he stole £100 and went on to burgle two homes. He drove off in a car he had stolen.

Gunn was found guilty of murder, burglary, theft and robbery. He will be sentenced on Friday.

Vignarani Aiyathirai, Mr Katharkamar’s widow, said the thought her “kind, humorous and loving” husband was killed over £100, “haunted” her.

“I hate the fact he was alone, that I was not there to hold or comfort him, tend to his wounds or tell him I loved him and that all would be OK,” she added in a statement read out in court.

“I constantly wonder if the man who did this will ever realise or care that he has left such a huge trail of devastation within my family.”

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Alex Gunn had driven to the shop in a car he had previously stolen

The attack, which was captured on the shop’s CCTV, showed Gunn holding a knife to Mr Katharkamar’s throat and grappling with him before stabbing him in the chest.

Mr Katharkamar was found by a jogger who called the emergency services but they pronounced him dead at the scene.

Gunn, of Pinner Grove, Pinner, will also be sentenced for driving while disqualified, which he had previously admitted.

Describing Gunn as a “one-man crimewave”, prosecutor Bill Emlyn Jones QC told jurors he was also responsible for a string of burglaries and thefts to fund his drug habit.

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Met Police

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Gunn disguised himself before he carried out the attack

Det Ch Insp Simon Stancombe said the two men could not be more different.

“Ravi was a warm and loving father and husband. A man who worked long hours to support his young family and run his shop in the heart of the local community in Pinner,” he said.

“Alex Gunn, on the other hand, is a career criminal who has spent much of his adult life preying on other people.

“Alex Gunn is an odious, vile and dangerous individual who I am pleased to say will now be in prison for a very long time.”

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Josh Hanson murder: ‘Most wanted’ man guilty of Hillingdon bar killing

Josh Hanson

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Josh Hanson was pronounced dead at the scene of the attack at the RE bar in Hillingdon

One of Britain’s most wanted fugitives has been convicted of murder after a three-and-a-half-year international manhunt.

Shane O’Brien slashed 21-year-old Josh Hanson’s neck after a brief conversation in RE Bar in Hillingdon, west London, in October 2015.

The 31-year-old was on Interpol and Europol’s “most wanted” lists before he was extradited from Romania in April.

An Old Bailey jury deliberated for 55 minutes before finding him guilty.

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Met Police

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Shane O’Brien was arrested in Romania on 23 March and extradited to the UK on 5 April

Council worker Mr Hanson was stabbed in front of his girlfriend and suffered a 37cm (14.5ins) wound from his left ear to the right side of his chest on 11 October 2015, the court heard.

O’Brien walked calmly out the bar before enlisting the help of his friend “Vanessa” to secure a private plane to take him from Biggin Hill airport to the Netherlands, the jury was told.

He grew long hair and a beard and got a tattoo of his child’s name covered over.

He then used false identity documents to travel to countries including Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

Friends helped O’Brien avoid police after he was added to both Europol and Interpol’s most wanted lists, his trial heard.

Despite being arrested in Prague in 2017 for assault, he managed to flee when he was released on bail and began using the alias Enzo Melloncelli.

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Met Police

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O’Brien calmly walked out of RE Bar in Hillingdon in the early hours of 11 October after the attack, the court heard

O’Brien told jurors he had felt threatened by Mr Hanson’s “very aggressive body language” on the night of the attack. He said he felt Mr Hanson was “ready to attack”.

At bar closing time he approached his victim and asked him, “what’s your problem?”, before pulling the knife from his jacket pocket and fatally slashing him.

‘Extremely dangerous’

He claimed he wanted to “pretend to attack” Mr Hanson in a bid to “scare him”.

“From the bottom of my heart, I did not mean to touch him with that blade,” O’Brien added.

Commenting on the verdict, Mr Hanson’s mum Tracey said: “The aftermath of Josh’s murder has left us broken beyond repair as Josh was taken from us in the most horrific way possible – suddenly, abruptly, viciously and violently.

“Nothing will ever erase the CCTV footage of Josh’s final moments from our minds as he was struck with a knife so horrifically and callously, along with his suffering as he tried to fight for his life.”

Det Ch Insp Noel McHugh, of Met Police, said in a statement: “This is the day I, and certainly Josh’s family, almost feared would never come – O’Brien finally convicted of that unprovoked and vicious attack in a bar in Eastcote close to four years ago. And we still do not have a clear answer – why?

“O’Brien is an extremely dangerous individual who murdered a young man in the prime of his life in a packed bar for no reason whatsoever.”

He will be sentenced on 17 October.

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England weather: Heavy rain causes floods and travel chaos

Boy cycles through flood water near stranded car

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Some commuters in Birmingham were undeterred by the flooding

Heavy rain is causing travel problems and flash flooding across England.

Twelve flood warnings and 39 flood alerts have been put in place by the Environment Agency.

The Met Office has a yellow rain warning covering most of the country in force until 23:00 BST.

Floods have been reported on roads in Southampton, Birmingham and Liverpool, while Transport for London (TfL) said a number of roads across the capital were also affected by flooding.

Wales has also been affected by the heavy rainfall, with the Met Office issuing warnings across south and north eastern areas of the country.

Flood alerts are in place and a landslip has blocked a road in Neath Port Talbot. South Wales Police said conditions on south Wales’ roads were “really poor”.

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Flooding has also hit roads in Southampton

A flood warning is in place in Crawley, West Sussex, for the Ifield Brook and River Mole at Ifield and the River Mole at Lowfield Heath.

Flooding is also expected on the upper Frome, between Maiden Newton and Dorchester, in Dorset and on the Grace Dieu Brook, between Whitwick and Thringstone, in Leicestershire.

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Media captionHeavy rain brings flash flooding to Wellingborough

Edwinstone and Ollerton in Nottinghamshire are also at risk of flooding from the River Maun, as are areas around the Whinney Brook at Maghull in Sefton, Merseyside, and Wash Dike in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

Warnings are also in place for the River Tame at Hams Hall, Water Orton, Whitacre and Nether Whitacre in Warwickshire, and the Blackburn and Charlton Brooks, between Chapeltown and North Ecclesfield, near Sheffield.

National Rail warned of major disruption between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stourbridge earlier due to a tree blocking the line.

Southampton City Centre has seen problems with several cars having broken down in water on Millbrook Road West.

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The flooding in Southampton caused major problems for commuters

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The torrential downpours saturated pedestrians in Birmingham city centre

Motorists have also been advised to avoid the road between Waterhouse Lane and Paynes Road.

Roads have flooded in the Longbridge area of Birmingham, while Mersey Fire and Rescue Service reported vehicles trapped in floodwater in the Queens Drive and West Derby areas of Liverpool.

A service spokesman urged drivers to “please take extra care”, adding: “Slow down, increase your distances, switch your lights on and please don’t drive into floodwater.”

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Media captionHeavy rain causes flooding in Liverpool (Credit: Liverpool Echo)

About 2in (49.6mm) of rain fell in the six hours before 09:00 at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, according to the Met Office.

Spokesman Grahame Madge said it was a “significant” amount of rain.

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A road has been partially flooded at Colnbrook in Berkshire

He said the band of rain was “transient” and, having started in the South West, has moved to the Midlands before hitting the North later in the day.

He said some other areas could expect to see the same amount of rain as Boscombe Down.

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Roads were also affected in Liverpool

In Harrogate, the fan zone for the UCI Road World Championships has been closed due to the “heavy rain”.

The cycling action can still be seen on West Park and Parliament Street, organisers said.

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A road has flooded in the Longbridge area of Birmingham



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West Ham United 2-0 Manchester United: Hammers too strong for toothless visitors

Andriy Yarmolenko’s second goal of the season opened the scoring at London Stadium

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell earned West Ham their second successive home win against Manchester United, who remain without a league win on their travels since February.

Yarmolenko opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, sending a low finish past David de Gea following patient build-up play involving Mark Noble and Felipe Anderson.

Cresswell sealed all three points for the Hammers in the second half with a superb free-kick into the top right-hand corner.

Chances were at a premium in a cagey first half at London Stadium, with Noble’s deflected effort from Pablo Fornals’ free-kick the closest either team came to a breakthrough before Yarmolenko’s strike.

Juan Mata should have levelled for the visitors two minutes into the second half but failed to hit the target after connecting well with Andreas Pereira’s low cross.

The result lifts West Ham above the Red Devils in the table, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side remain three points off the top four.

More to follow.



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Climate strike: Thousands protest across UK

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Media captionGlobal climate strike: Protests take place across England

Thousands of people are protesting across the UK, with pupils leaving schools and workers downing tools as part of a global “climate strike” day.

Millions are taking part around the world with rallies in British cities including Glasgow, Manchester and London, urging “climate justice”.

Anna Taylor, 18, a co-founder of UK Student Climate Network said it was “very easy” to get people to show up.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said “every child should be in school”.

“They should be learning, they shouldn’t be bunking off and it’s very irresponsible for people to encourage children to do so,” he added.

Student Jessica Ahmed, 16, emailed her school to warn that she would be joining the protests instead of being in class.

Speaking at a protest in Westminster, Miss Ahmed, of Barnet, north London, said: “School is important but so is my future.

“If politicians were taking the appropriate action we need – and had been taking this action a long time ago when it was recognised the world was changing in a negative way – then I would not have to be skipping school.”

Demonstrations have also been organised in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Brighton, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Birmingham.

Students let off alarm bells at 13:00 BST to “raise the alarm” for the climate.

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Pupils left the classroom for the coast in Cullercoats, North Tyneside

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed the climate change protest in Westminster, saying: “If we’re going to sustain this planet we need to get to net zero emissions a lot, lot quicker than 2050 [the government’s target].”

He said he wanted every country to signed up to the Paris Agreement and, referring to President Donald Trump, said it was “disgraceful when you get a president of a major country like the US” who says they will walk away.

Dozens of pupils from John Stainer Community Primary school in Brockley, south-east London, are among those taking part in the capital.

Head teacher Sue Harte said the school had decided to take part because “climate change is clearly a big issue” and “children need to know that they have a right to democratic protest”.

Sebastian, a pupil at the school, said he joined the protests to help fight global warming.

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Sebastian says he knows how important it is to look after the planet

“They, the government, don’t understand that we’re going to go through it and they are not,” he said.

Eight-year-old Sohan and Nayan, five, also from south-east London, joined protesters with their mother, Celine.

Sohan said: “We want to save our planet and we hope that marching will help.”

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Sohan and Nayan with their mother, Celine

Hundreds of climate activists – including children in school uniform – have staged a mass “die in” in Belfast, where they lay down in the city centre.

One Extinction Rebellion activist, Lorraine Montague from County Tyrone, was dressed as a swan to highlight the threat of climate change to wildlife.

She said: “Our climate is at crisis point and the government is not doing anything about it. We have to support the young people, they are the ones who started this strike.

“We are grieving for our future. I don’t feel happy about having children the way our climate is going.”

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Children hold a similar “die in” in Cambridge

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Children from Terra Nova Secondary in Cheshire are attending the UK Student Climate Network’s strike in Manchester

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Young climate activists in Glasgow think children could “save the planet”

Extinction Rebellion ‘solidarity’

Extinction Rebellion, which organised its own climate and environment protests in the UK earlier this year, said it stood “in solidarity” with those taking part.

It added that its members were joining the strikes and holding their own events, including a choir and “kids’ space” in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, and outside King’s College London.

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Protesters in Manchester, where at least one clothing store closed to support the strike

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Media captionClimate protest: ‘This is more important than a maths lesson’

Some trade unions, including the TUC, the University and College Union and Unite, are supporting members who take part in the “strikes”.

Co-operative Bank says it is supporting workers who want to join the action, while US clothing brand Patagonia is closing all of its stores and taking out adverts to back the protesters.

But in Norwich, protester Tiffany Wallace said the company where she worked declined to give her time off work join demonstrators “because they didn’t think it was important”, she said.

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Tiffany Wallace said her company declined to give her permission to join the protests

“The worst thing they can do do is fire me,” said the 33-year-old.

“I don’t feel I should compromise my own values and integrity and what’s important, so I can make money for a business.”

The action follows earlier school strikes inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.

The teenager, from Sweden, is set to join a rally planned in New York, where world leaders will meet at the UN next week to discuss climate change.

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Teenage campaigner Greta Thunberg – who inspired the protests – sailed to the US ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York next week

Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said he could not “endorse children leaving school” to take part in the protests.

But he said he did support “their energy, their creativity, and the fact that they have completely mastered these issues and take them very seriously”.

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British Airways pilots call off next week’s strike

British Airways plane

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British Airways pilots have called off the next strike in their dispute, which had been scheduled for 27 September.

Last week, a two-day stoppage called by the pilots’ union, Balpa, forced BA to cancel almost all its flights.

The strike followed failed negotiations between the union and the airline over a pay offer of 11.5% over three years.

Balpa said the strikes on 9 and 10 September had demonstrated the anger and resolve of pilots.

It was now time for a period of reflection before the dispute “escalates further and irreparable damage is done to the brand”, the union said.

Balpa said it hoped BA would “now change its approach and negotiate seriously” with a view to ending the dispute.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: “Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this dispute and with no sign of that from BA, the pilots have decided to take the responsible course.

“In a genuine attempt at establishing a time out for common sense to prevail, we have lifted the threat of the strike on 27 September.”

However, Balpa said it retained the right to announce further strike dates.

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Former Khan adviser moves to Lib Dems over knife crime

(L-R) Leroy Logan, Siobhan Benita and Chuka Umunna

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Leroy Logan (left) announced he would join the Lib Dems, alongside Siobhan Benita and Chuka Umunna

Sadiq Khan’s former policing adviser has joined the Liberal Democrats, saying his children were no longer safe in London due to rising violence.

Leroy Logan, a former police superintendent, said he quit the Labour Party over the London mayor’s failure to “grasp” knife crime.

Mr Logan will now become policing adviser to the Lib Dem mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita.

Mr Khan said he was wished Mr Logan “all the best of luck in the Lib Dems”.

“I think lots of parents, me included, are concerned about safety in London and across the country,” the mayor added.

“One of the things I’ve been keen to do since I became mayor is to persuade the government to realise that their cuts over the last nine years have consequences.”

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Sadiq Khan said he would “never apologise” for his policing policies

Speaking at the Lib Dem’s conference, Mr Logan said: “I’ve seen my children and their generation grow up in fear.

“It’s so tangible. It’s been normalised to such an extent it can happen anywhere, not just small pockets of deprived areas.”

Mr Logan said the mayor “doesn’t really understand” knife crime, and had “isolated himself” on the issue.

“He’s surrounded himself with people who think they are problem solvers, but are creating more problems on the street because they’ve lost touch with what is going on.”

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Leroy Logan is the former chairman of the Metropolitan Black Police Association

Mr Logan previously criticised the choice of Lib Peck to run London’s Violence Reduction Unit – a role he had also applied for.

Ms Benita, who is running in London’s 2020 Mayoral election, said: “Sadiq has wasted his mayoral term in not addressing this issue with the urgency it needs.

“While he continues to blame other people, our young children in London continue to be traumatised, petrified and at risk. There is so, so much more we can do.”

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Fulham 1-1 West Brom: Baggies stay unbeaten after Ajayi leveller at Fulham

Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli complained that he had been fouled by Charlie Austin

West Bromwich Albion maintained their unbeaten Championship record as they came from behind to rescue a point with a draw in the south west London sunshine at Fulham.

Both goals owed a good bit to fortune, as Semi Ajayi’s controversial late headed equaliser cancelled out an attempted cross from Anthony Knockaert which deceived Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and dipped in at the far post.

Knockaert’s 49th-minute goal – his second in three home games – looked likely to earn all three points for the hosts at Craven Cottage.

But, from deadline signing Matheus Pereira’s 80th-minute corner, home keeper Marcus Bettinelli was distracted by Albion striker Charlie Austin attempting to lay his hands on him on the line.

The indignant Bettinelli and could only parry the ball tamely, allowing Ajayi to nod in at the far post for his first goal for the club.

Fulham had the better chances before the break as Tom Cairney evaded the linesman’s flag to get free inside the box and latch onto Harrison Reed’s pass, but his left-foot strike was touched onto the bar by the fingertips of Johnstone.

Reed was then also denied by the West Brom keeper, who reacted sharply to keep out his close-range header.

Austin, still to score his first league goal for Albion, volleyed over, then could only direct a tame header straight at Bettinelli.

And they were second best before the second-half introduction of Slaven Bilic’s three substitutes Flip Krovinovic, Kyle Edwards and Hal Robson-Kanu.

Bilic’s Baggies have won the most points from losing positions in the Championship this season (12), having gone behind in six of their seven games and lost none.

Summer loan signing Anthony Knockaert scored his second goal in three home games



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At least two men stabbed in ‘linked’ London attacks

Eastleigh Walk

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The condition of the man stabbed in Eastleigh Walk is not yet known

At least two men have been stabbed in south London in what police believe are linked attacks.

Police officers found one man with stab injuries after reports of a fight on Eastleigh Walk in Roehampton at about 10:50 BST. He was taken to hospital.

Shortly afterwards, another man arrived at a south London hospital with a stab wound. He was later arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

Officers had earlier been called to reports of a stabbing on Burston Road.

The male had been stabbed and had reportedly left the scene in a white saloon car, the Met Police said.

The force said it had put a crime scene in place and granted itself stop and search powers across Wandsworth borough and parts of Richmond.

“This means that until 02:45 on Friday, 13 September, constables in uniform can use this power to stop and search in the area specified, specifically to prevent and detect the carrying of dangerous instruments or offensive weapons,” it said in a post on Facebook.

The condition of the man stabbed in Eastleigh Walk is not yet known.

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